Many people are steadfastly against long-distance dating. They won’t even consider it, especially if the person they would date is someone they met online. There are too many unknowns there, and it’s hard enough to get to know someone who lives in the same town as you, they rationalize.
Still others who don’t have the benefit of geography know that if they are going to meet someone, short of a miracle, long-distance online dating is one of their few options. That’s the case with Jennifer and Scotty. She joined eharmony after her brother’s success with it, but was primarily matched with people she knew in her town. So she expanded her radius and met Scotty soon after. Now, they’ve been married for four years and are the parents of a toddler.
We caught up with them recently to hear about their story. Here’s what they had to say:
Did you struggle with the idea of online dating? Why or why not?
Jennifer: Yes. My prayer during undergrad and graduate school was that God would guard my heart and bring no distractions while I was pursuing my degrees. When I got out of school and started working nothing ever happened (dating wise) over a course of many years. I kept on telling myself God is still protecting me or maybe I should be more careful what I ask for. Being a band director also didn’t leave much time for a social life outside of the people I worked with almost 6 days a week. During this time my Mom secretly signed me up for an online dating site, which I think is funny because I am curious to see how she answered the questionnaires. Looking back, I am sure some of my coworkers or people I knew were matched with me that I would never had considered. So after finding out she did this, I was really against online dating. It wasn’t until I moved, started a new teaching job, and became happy with who I was that I thought about it. I visited my brother in California one Christmas and met his girlfriend. They were perfect for each other. I learned that they were matches on eharmony. I went home and a month later signed up. No, I did not tell my mama because I didn’t want to hear “I told you so.”
How long were you on eharmony before you found your spouse?
Jennifer: It wasn’t long… maybe a month or two. Most of my matches were people in my circle (including my Sunday School teacher) so I decided not to exclude matches that were long distance like my now-husband.
Do you tell people you met your spouse online, or do you keep that under wraps? Why?
Jennifer: Yes, when people ask how we met we respond, “’One in four couples meet online…’ Remember that eharmony commercial?” In our circumstance with us living almost two hours apart before getting married, it was pretty obvious. Plus, there are so many people who say, “I know so many people who meet online” when we tell them this. If our story can help others, why not share?
What was it about each of your profiles that caught the attention of the other? What made it stand out?
Jennifer: We had much in common, but mostly just messaging back and forth about women’s college basketball and the rivalry between our two sports teams. The distance thing was a concern for me, but I did not have many local matches and those I did get locally were already in my social circle.
Scotty: Her faith. She looked like she liked the outdoors, and her profile pictures.
From the time you started messaging back and forth, what was your initial dating process like?
Jennifer: We messaged for maybe two months or so. Then he stopped for a while. So being the sweet person I am, I was like “It was nice chatting with you, but I’m deleting you.” Ok, well, maybe not so forward. Apparently that caught his attention, and he was on vacation during that time. He then asked if he could call me and from there we decided to meet. We met where I lived (I’m traditional. The guy is going to drive my way for the first date). I let my good friend know where and when the date was, so I would have back up. (I watched too many crime shows living by myself.) Everything went well, and from there, we would rotate where we would meet on any free Saturdays that came our way. I guess after a few months of meeting in person it was obvious that things were meant to be and we were exclusive–lol. I never would have expected it to work out this way in the beginning, but God has a sense of humor with me.
eharmony is one of the higher-priced online dating sites. Do you think it was worth it?
Jennifer: Lol. I paid for a whole year in the beginning and met the guy of my dreams within two to three months. It was worth every penny…
Were you pleased with your eharmony experience overall? Would you recommend it to other Christian singles?
Jennifer: I was pleased, but you have to be open-minded with your matches and the distances. I have recommended this to my Christian single friends, and they have also met their spouses online. Like me, their spouses were long-distance matches even up to being hundreds of miles away.
What are some tips you’d offer other Christians who are online dating? Are there things you wish you’d done differently?
Jennifer: I think first things first: Be happy with who you are in life then you will shine and truly be you and not something you aren’t on your profile. It is easy to read those who are fake in their profiles/pictures/etc. Be honest and take your time when you do the profile quizzes because you want the best match for you. I wouldn’t change a thing—well, maybe paying for a few months instead of a year.
Scotty: Be honest and not deceptive because matches will find out the true you anyways. Give long-distance matches a shot.
What do you think about long-distance dating? Share your thoughts in the comments below.